- DOCUMENTED There is no future in the U.S. without immigrants.
Dir. Jose Antonio Vargas
Here is a major problem rich countries are facing: Their populations are getting old. In Italy, for example, the median age is 43.5, and it's expected that by 2033, one-third of its citizens will be older than 65. That time is not that far away, and, as the economist Mark Blyth points out in his book Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, those who are holding Italy's long-term sovereign debt must be seriously wondering who is going to pay the interest on their 30-year bonds when the country will also be working to pay the pensions for all of these old people.
The simple solution would be to open the doors to immigrants, but Italy's citizens want nothing to do with that option. The United States is also heading in this direction. A recent Census Bureau report predicts that by 2050, as much as a fifth of the US population will be older than 65. The reason the US is not as old as Italy or other European countries is most likely its large immigrant population. Indeed, its relative youth among rich countries might be one of the reasons the Long Recession has not hit the US as hard as it should have. But a look at the political climate makes it clear that America is far from seeing the writing on the wall.